24 August 2006

Fansubbing, is it really what it is?

These days, fansubbers take time off their free time, and work tirelessly for the people to enjoy animes so that they don't have to wait 6 months for bandai/funimation to bring it into their country, or in many cases (US != the world, unfortunately), bringing animes to places where the latest animes is Fruit basket or something similar (I come from one such country).

Unfortunately, fansubbing today, in general, isn't exactly "fans subbing for fans".

Why?

First of all, the second "fans", otherwise known more commonly as "leeches". I prefer to call them "supporters", but what the hell.

While there are many out there who are very appriciative of the works fansubbers do, there are many more out there who moan, cry and do just about everything else when a release is delayed. They grow impatient, they swear, they beg, they cry, they keep asking "WHEN IS IT DONE?", when the fansubbers themselves are trying hard to balance life and fansubbing.

And even it's done, the complaints don't stop there. People complain about subs going too fast, poor encode (when they can't tell the difference from a poor raw and poor encode 80% of the time), and poor grammar because the team used "she is" instead of "she's".

The complaining never stops.

Why?

I feel that the leeches are too pampered in this world of fast internet. Back in the old times with 1.5mbit being considered "wow", and the majority of the world using 56k, fansubbing is something which everyone respected, because it is difficult download the goods, and much more difficult for things to work on. With people obtaining 24mbit lines and even unmetered gigabyte lines, animes can be obtained within minutes, watched, and tossed away in a time which is far shorter than the time needed to put the release together.

[Alok Edit]
And before that things were done on VHS, (you know those big black things,) and the equipment necessary for that was really expensive, in the advent of digisubing fansubbing costs have come down, back then you would have to have the tapes mail ordered, these days you can download it all for free.
Ref: Fansubbing on Wiki
and my favorite guide on fansubbing (its old now, but still a classic): digisub guide
[/Edit]


But however, coming back to the argument of being pampered, leeches today expect, no, demand, anime at the snap of their fingertips. They want it now, they want it fast. They want it perfect, so they can burn it into their DVD collections. Hence, you see complaints of "poor karaoke", "poor typesetting" and all that crap.

The expectations of fansubbing these days is that if you don't do a perfect job, you suck. Never mind that all they do is talk and criticise.

But is the fault lying solely on the leeches?

To be honest, I think not.

Fansubbers are to blame too.

To some fansubbers, they do this for "honour" and "glory". They like to announce their contributions all over the internet in every forum they can find, with words such as "Yeah, well, thank me for encoding this episode, or you won't get to watch it this quickly. Hehe."

Fansubbing has turned into a "Who's who" game to some.

They want that recogniation of being somebody in this vast majority of people in the internet, never mind it is not known in real life. They take on a billion projects, nevermind that they got very limited staff, or that they have a million unfinished jobs.

They just want to be known.

What's worse, some fansubbers "punish" leeches who complain by withholding releases and dropping projects (or at least, threaten to drop them, as you sometimes see on Tosho). They act all mighty and big in their channels, a world they can dominate in front of their 32 inch plasma monitor screen.

It's stupid really. What some fansubbers don't see, is that without fans, they are NOTHING. Who downloads their releases so that can jack off while they see the leeching numbers increase? Fans. Who are the ones going into the channel, allowing it to hit X? Fans.

Yet, they don't care. In their channel, it's their turf. They do whatever they want. People say things they don't like, kick ban bai. During times before release time, they will moderate the channel and spoil everything, or taunt the fans.

Just about every silly thing which makes them feel that they are in a "dominating" position.

Of course, there's this "war" thing going between some teams. We honestly do things for fun, because unlike other leeches who whine and whine when something is delayed, we pick it up, and DO it, so we can watch it.

Of course, unfortunately, this makes groups angry. So angry that they want to shoot us in the face (fansubbers will find it hard to buy good insurance, I think. Mine just got cancelled). Unfortunately, they fail to see how this is a much better solution for us other than us whining. They call us vultures, and other funny bird names and whatever.

But really, have they ever thought why we are forced to do this? Do they think it's EASY to make an episode? And frankly, I've got so many more better things to do than to start a "war".

Hence, the attitute of the leeches, the fansubbers, and the relationships between fansubbers, has degraded fansubbing quite a bit. Fansubbing is now seen as the alternative to buying DVDs, when it should have had been just to raise awareness of an anime. Many animes such as Shakugan No Shana, Utawarerumono and Haruhi, just to name a few, will never be as popular as they are without fansubbing. Yet, everyone is looking at fansubbing at a different thing now.

It's no longer about "fans subbing for fans".

It has come down to the individual. What they want, what they demand, and whatever kick they get while fansubbing.

42 Comments:

Blogger cridia said...

Never knew that the whole fansubbing world was like that, but then again, I try to avoid irc because I dont like it.

Anyways, I (as a leecher) completely agree with you. I honestly dont get that other leechers are actually complaining about quality from a service that wouldnt even be there if it werent for everyone putting all of their spare time in it. I myself dont mind anything, I just watch it. Heck, I even dont complain about bootleg rips, since because I have downloaded it I dont think I have a right to complain in the first place (as you have said, I dont know Japanese and hell, even if I did I probably wont have to patience to do what you guys do).

I was surpised to learn some things about some other groups though, never expected that they actually feel superiour just because they sub a certain series and have a fanbase.

Anyways, I am going to download your utawarerumono episode 21 now, but as a minor question I would like to know whether or not you will also be doing episode 20? Good luck on your future episodes and keep up the good work :D!

5:46 AM  
Blogger Noppes said...

well said dude

7:26 AM  
Blogger kridsadar_s said...

Keep trying !

Thank for make that subs for me

I'm one of your fansubs here...

8:28 AM  
Blogger kridsadar_s said...

Keep its on guys !

I'm one of fans here

8:30 AM  
Blogger Siezme said...

Yo, you can't make the point more clear then you already have.

You wrote quite a lot there seeing as you've repeated yourself numerous times in the past. Just forget about it.

If you continue the debate(I think we all know what the moddo is for arguing on the internet) over the internet then both sides will just continue to get pissed.

I'm fairly confident in your abilities and your intelligence, and thank you for subbing for the fans. Prove that you guys are the smart ones and finish the conflict between fansubbers.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Honu99 said...

I can't agree with you more, the fansubbing world has given users more access to the world of 1st run japanese anime then we have ever had before, but on the other hand it seems to be reaching a peak with so many different titles being subbed by many groups. I might be in the minority of fansub users inasmuch as I will purchase the dvd's when they become available in the states. I feel that fansubbers provide a invaluable resource for those of us whose japanese is very limited, and live state side, I want to thank you all at Your-mom for doing the work to speed sub the School Rumble series, I have encoding experience so I know how much work you all put into each episode, I think alot of us 'leechers' forget that you do this for free on your own time. Please keep up the good work.

10:41 AM  
Blogger linkdude said...

very nice article. I had an idea of how difficult it is to sub but i never looked at peoples complaints (since i leave none). I didnt know there were so many peoploe that complain if the episode isn't out yet. I thought people kept their mouth shut cuz these ppl provide the good for u and u have to wait till the episode itself has to be released.
I've only seen 1 poor sub before and i just thought that maybe he rushed it because these people comlained so much that he had to send sumthin or else they left. I got through it and i understood nearly everything in the episode just by trying to read the subs.
I really like your subbing for School rumble and i plan to keep returning for more episodes because of their high quality. If i find that the episode isn't released i'll just keep waiting since i really cant rush u or else it'll show and i wouldn't want that to happen.
I think it should make u feel at least a little better for u to know u have at least 1 true fan that likes seeing ur fansubs.

10:56 AM  
Blogger linkdude said...

very nice article. I had an idea of how difficult it is to sub but i never looked at peoples complaints (since i leave none). I didnt know there were so many peoploe that complain if the episode isn't out yet. I thought people kept their mouth shut cuz these ppl provide the good for u and u have to wait till the episode itself has to be released.
I've only seen 1 poor sub before and i just thought that maybe he rushed it because these people comlained so much that he had to send sumthin or else they left. I got through it and i understood nearly everything in the episode just by trying to read the subs.
I really like your subbing for School rumble and i plan to keep returning for more episodes because of their high quality. If i find that the episode isn't released i'll just keep waiting since i really cant rush u or else it'll show and i wouldn't want that to happen.
I think it should make u feel at least a little better for u to know u have at least 1 true fan that likes seeing ur fansubs.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Dako said...

Just wanted to say thanks for all your hard work and time dedicated to fansubbing. I have never made a fansub, but I've edited some videos, learned some japanese, as well as other stuff that require skills which fansubbing also require, and it's not an easy task, any of them.

Thanks again.

11:00 AM  
Blogger tsubaki said...

u are a god, finally someone with some sense. it is really difficult to get people to understand why fansubs are so great and how they contribute to the anime society

12:38 PM  
Blogger Dudeguy said...

Hello sir,
Just wanted to note that it is really true that some "supporter" are more "annoying" then supportive.
Worked a bit with video editing I can assume that Fansubbing shouldn't be taken easily.
It a time consuming pass time which with this "supporter" become less.... fun

To give you a example of quality... I remember my first anime I downloaded it was Love Hina some year ago. You should have see the quality.... it was 20 mb each eps !
it was awfull compared to quality now.... but I LOVED it.

I think I will stop there as ... like you I could make a couple of paragraph

Continu your good work, as, people like me appreciate it.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Leha said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Leha said...

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, yet again, NightFalcon. I truly love reading your insights, because they almost always hit the nail on the head. I can think of quite a few people that a lot of those statements can/could apply to. Especially people who spam the credits of a show with their name.. all you need is one screen, not 15 screens, especially when 10 of the 15 screens list the SAME persons name. It's too bad fansubbing wasn't more like scanlation groups, in terms of credits anyway.. oh well. I just enjoy editing.. whether people know I did the edit or not.. *shrug* ..I only talk about the editing I've done for YM in the forums on my own site.. and I've only done it like twice.. it's not about me.. it's about getting out an episode that totally kicks ass and gets done fast, and looks beautiful as well.. fansubbing shouldn't be like women in the bathroom.. it shouldn't take days on end.. it should be like men in the bathroom.. a zip, flip, zip, flush and you're done. ^_^

3:36 PM  
Blogger thehighway said...

I guess it is easy for those who complain to stick out, but please realize that there are fans out there that truely apreciate your hard work and efforts to do what we cannot. I agree with you that people in general are spoiled with instant gratification, from high speed internet to fast foods to cell phones. We are in an age where many people inflate the value of their own time as if there was no such thing as patience.

I only made a blogger account to post this, I truely hope that the ungrateful leeches do not bring you guys down.

Am I being hypocritical? Why don't I donate? In defense, I would like to say I am still only in high school. I too wish for fansubs to be done quickly, but I make no worries or complaints as if the fansubs are required to be done for me, rather than being accepted as a gift.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Chevalier said...

Hark! A sane person! Lets all gawk at him for he is rare and mysterious amongst the people of the internets.

Really the fans who moan and complain and demand clearly dont know their place or how lucky they are to be able to watch anime thats not even available in the US. (or other respective nations...except Luxembourg...that little country can burn in-*cough* tis but a joke) The high and mighty fan subbers (those that do have that attitude) should remember that they shouldnt sink themselves to the level of acting like an idiot because some d--che bag in an undetermined state/city keeps whining and begging and cursing. Heres an idea delete their e-mails, ignore, and keep doing what youre doing, and if you start hating it then maybe you shouldnt do it. Just remember there are people who DO appreciate what you do, dont let the jerks in the crowd ruin it for you and everyone else.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Spy Smasher said...

Though I'm clever enough to know when you screw up the grammar, I'm also clever enough to realize it doesn't matter.

Thanks for all the hard work. I, for one, appreciate it.

8:55 PM  
Blogger DBM said...

Oh please. All it takes to be a "fansubber" these days is the ability to poorly translate from one language to another, and spend an afternoon reading forums like afterdawn to learn how to work some free video encoding software. Find a friend online in another country with a mythTV box and a decent connection and your ready to go. The market is so saturated that the consumer can be picky and expect perfection.

Dont cry about the unpaid job you chose to do. Nobodys forcing you to do it, and if you dont like it your under no obligation to continue. The eliteism is the same with all groups, what kind of egomanical jerk overlays shit like {#zomg our-group} on top of an episode with {we dont like your player} attached to every line? Why does the creator care what player is used, especially enough to trash a whole release for everybody using their obvious player of choice. Somebody must think they are hot shit to imagine for a second they will get away with abusing their users like that.

This IS a highly competitive full contact sport, not a high school language club. If you cant take the heat or dont like the company then stop doing it. Oh wait, your still doing it. You clearly like the attention and feeling of power too, just like all the rest. Make the choice but stop cutting yourself over it.

Obligatory complaint: go un-fuck ep 45.

10:30 PM  
Blogger DBM said...

Oh please. All it takes to be a "fansubber" these days is the ability to poorly translate from one language to another, and spend an afternoon reading forums like afterdawn to learn how to work some free video encoding software. Find a friend online in another country with a mythTV box and a decent connection and your ready to go. The market is so saturated that the consumer can be picky and expect perfection.

Dont cry about the unpaid job you chose to do. Nobodys forcing you to do it, and if you dont like it your under no obligation to continue. The eliteism is the same with all groups, what kind of egomanical jerk overlays shit like {#zomg our-group} on top of an episode with {we dont like your player} attached to every line? Why does the creator care what player is used, especially enough to trash a whole release for everybody using their obvious player of choice. Somebody must think they are hot shit to imagine for a second they will get away with abusing their users like that.

This IS a highly competitive full contact sport, not a high school language club. If you cant take the heat or dont like the company then stop doing it. Oh wait, your still doing it. You clearly like the attention and feeling of power too, just like all the rest. Make the choice but stop cutting yourself over it.

Obligatory complaint: go un-fuck ep 45.

10:30 PM  
Blogger J said...

A friend directed me to your post, and I'd just like to say thanks for all the hard work. You're bringing fansubbing back to what its really about, and I hope I'll be able to do the same in the future.

11:13 PM  
Blogger pippiman said...

I speak from a fan point of view,
And i say that i do appreciate fansubbers as whole,even those i don't download their fansubs and prefer others,i still respect them for putting their time to doing the animes we love and bringing it to the masses,not everybody can wait,and just you like you said,"Licensed" doesn't mean getting the anime only to the US( and i pay my homage by buying the DVDs later)

so keep up the good work and good luck on your future projects beyond School Rumble 2
^^

P.S Where are you from NightFalcon?

2:56 AM  
Blogger Kai said...

i feel your pain man. but chillz. hey, if you're ever in need of a person to help out, drop me a message anytime.

but erm, i'm totally inexperienced. just felt that i should offer.

4:20 AM  
Blogger ALok said...

our credits are like scanlation groups :)

4:21 AM  
Blogger NotaTroll said...

I fansub and I leech. I fansub purely for the reason that I want people to enjoy the show as it should be enjoyed -- which is as accurately as possible. Else, I could watch a show, and have it feel like goatbarf any old day. It's called Cartoon Network.

Different strokes for different folks.

This post is no less haughty than how most groups that you're condoning that 'act like it's a big deal,' and 'aren't doing it for the fans.'

Just a 2 cents for your entire post that seemed to miss that concept.

12:51 PM  
Blogger DeadYouth2 said...

Well said well said, I think you guys are a great fansubbing group so keep up the good work. I only complain to myself lol or people like saizen who havent released episode 48 of eyeshield 21 when saiyaman has up to raw 71 released (rediculous) lol but no really you guys are great and i appreciate the hard work.

3:04 PM  
Blogger DeadYouth2 said...

Well said well said, I think you guys are a great fansubbing group so keep up the good work. I only complain to myself lol or people like saizen who havent released episode 48 of eyeshield 21 when saiyaman has up to raw 71 released (rediculous) lol but no really you guys are great and i appreciate the hard work.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Occido said...

So many other fansubbing groups proclaim themselves to hold a certain level of 'professionalism' yet fill their update posts with smilies and lol'z. To see them say that their subs take longer because they don't want to be considered on the same level as speedsubbers and still see a fifth grade grasp of english in the updates on the front page (I'm looking at you Shinsen) is just an insult to the integrity of the fanbase.

I look at all these groups and see how very much alike they are in the forum and comment posts and see the overall level of education within the community. It makes me question why I still watch anime and why I should continue.

Then I see updates like these with sincere posts and rebuttals. I can say with confidence that the staff at Your-Mom has saved me from condemning the entire subbing community into a blob of brain-dead weeaboo's. As you've demonstrated here, there are those in the community that actually have a real grasp at what's going on and I really respect that.

Keep doing whatever speedsubs you feel like Your-Mom staff, I'll keep downloading.

10:01 PM  
Blogger DarkAce said...

I just had to say how great your post/article was. It has changed my perspective in ways. After reading it i kinda felt bad myself, though i've never complained to any group, and i've always just been paitent and waited and found something else to do while waiting. But when i saw [Y-M} start subbing a series i was waiting for, i didn't give ya the time of day because i figured they wouldn't have good quality, and i had assumed you were taking a series that was getting popular, and trying to snag some attention from the main subbing group. (Something i had heard that many smaller groups were doing) I feel differently about it now, what you said was just perfect!

Also i ope you don't mind, but i've posted this on the boards at fansub.tv and future-anime.com hoping to bring up some good discussions.

Thank you again!

10:44 PM  
Blogger Albert said...

I love the fact you guys are unpretentious about doing the things you do. I hold you guys in rather high regard. And thanks for picking up school rumble 2nd term. I was looking all over the web after wannabe went down.

No matter if they have re-established themselves or not, you guys just got another avid visitor to your website. ;)

3:33 AM  
Blogger osborn18 said...

Thanks for being honest.

In reality this applies to everything in the internet or in life for that matter, like you cant even put an AMV in youtube without negative comments and insults coming out you.

I guess we all need to take the bitter with the bad. For every guy that complains there is 5 guys that love your work but dont say anything.

Ive been following your subs for some time and i think you should know that y-m subs is really fast in encoding and getting stuff done so you shouldnt take those, "you are taking too much" complaints seriusly.

And also there is a lot of series and fansubs to see, so ppl should try seeing other stuff also.

2:46 PM  
Blogger osborn18 said...

Thanks for being honest.

In reality this applies to everything in the internet or in life for that matter, like you cant even put an AMV in youtube without negative comments and insults coming out you.

I guess we all need to take the good with the bad. For every guy that complains there is 5 guys that love your work but dont say anything.

Ive been following your subs for some time and i think you should know that y-m subs is really fast in encoding and getting stuff done so you shouldnt take those, "you are taking too much" complaints seriusly.

And also there is a lot of series and fansubs to see, so ppl should try seeing other stuff also.

2:47 PM  
Blogger yiron said...

Hi~ Just wanna express my gratitude for all your work! Don't let what others say get to you k? Keep it up guys!

10:09 PM  
Blogger Reilly said...

Amen to that!

4:36 PM  
Blogger dragonofhonr said...

dude, your words you chose there were like the words of a god. Everyone should read about this.

5:57 PM  
Blogger dragonofhonr said...

dude, your words you chose there were like the words of a god. Everyone should read about this.

5:58 PM  
Blogger dragonofhonr said...

dude, your words you chose there were like the words of a god. Everyone should read about this.

5:59 PM  
Blogger honnou said...

It's scary how true this strikes.

As a fan who hasn't forgotten the era of the VHS (it's how I got started, after all - way back when), it's depressing to have friends who slide in under the "gimme gimme" role. They're still friends, but impatient and unreasonable at that. XD

Nowadays more and more fans/leechers/supporters/whatever are seeing that fansubbing is a (relatively) cheap method of obtaining anime that isn't actually being distro'd where they are (being as though Japanese citizens have no need for fansubs). In this time of take > give, fans can be quick to demand but not 'reimburse' (seeding, giving a thumbs up). I don't know much about the distro side as I'm not on it. XD

1:49 AM  
Blogger Veester said...

I must admit, Fansubbers actually do much better than real subbers who get paid by big companies. Not to mention the background writing is translated.
I can't say I haven't griped over late releases, but I love fansubbing so much that I could care less about the grammar/spelling (though sometimes I get a good laugh out of it, but not you guys, u rock :D)
Thanks for continuing to do what you do, u guys are awesome!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Elgarta said...

/

8:53 PM  
Blogger Rhombus said...

Wickio works his ass off Leha, and deserves all his props.

8:58 AM  
Blogger shashing said...

Cheers peeps. I definately hear dat shiat goin down. Ya definately hear ya about that upity crap from dose odder peeps such as *cough* anime-kraze *cough* *cough* offered to help, and next thing they say we don't need you we release slow on purpose. What a bunch of bs...all i wanted to do was help get dat shit out faster and not be one of those peeps crying wee wee wee all the way home. *although seems I'm doing it here*

next beer:
Who ever added that part about more pussy screaming in that Ut eps., dat was da bomb. My girl and I loved dat shit and were freaking busting a gut on the floor. Anyways zap me a line

Third Beer:
Now, how do I join your team to help you bust sum more of dat woop azz anime's out. Espiz the Ut's.
So with all that, ya I want to help if you peeps will take me and if not, keep up the good fight you puttin up!
Laterz-
shashingadmin @ gmail.com

1:45 AM  
Blogger The Bravery said...

Hi man! I consider myself a civilised leecher, and your remarks ring true. What's with all the bitching? Be thankful ^-^
You have my support, peace out!

2:41 PM  
Blogger David said...

Yeah never knew that was going on. Personally, I do realize the hard issues of balancing your hobby and your life. I don't blame subbers taking their time. I always thought it was for quality purposes. That and that there are shortages on translators. If I could help I would but unfortunately im not in the subbing business. I still like what you guys do.
P.S. Now i know that there is politics in everything!

10:12 PM  

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